Waking up to a sore throat, body ache, runny nose, and cough is not an unusual scenario. These are symptoms of the common cold that can last longer than what many people think. Usually, the primary symptoms last for 4-5 days, whereas the secondary ones linger for a week more.
However, there are people who get back-to-back cold due to weather changes. In such scenarios, people aren’t reinfected with the same virus because the body builds immunity to it.
If you are one of those who pop a pill every time you catch a cold, then your body can become resistant to drugs. To fight off the infection that causes the common cold, it’s important to treat the symptoms rather than suppress them.
What causes the common cold?
Common cold, a viral infection, is a common ailment caused by any one of the 200 different types of viruses infecting the upper respiratory system. With each episode of cold, the immune system becomes resistant to the virus that caused it.
What causes common cold in Ayurveda?
Ayurveda suggests that the common cold usually results due to an imbalance between Kapha and Vatadoshas. Kapha and Vatha dosha imbalance leads to the weak immune system and recurrent respiratory infections.
Over here we discuss some of the effective natural remedies that use Ayurvedic principles to strengthen and support the immune system without encouraging it to overreact. Rich in nutrients, these natural remedies when taken in the early stages can boost our body’s ability to fight off pathogens that cause the common cold.
1) Honey:- Due to its antimicrobial properties, Honey has been used as a medicine for over 5,000 years.
In a 2012 Paediatrics study, it was found that Honey when given at bedtime to kids who been sick for a week or less alleviated the symptoms of cough.
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2) Garlic:- It’s a strong antibiotic and can help your body fight against the common cold. The whole garlic contains Allicin. When the garlic is crushed or chewed, this compound turns into Allicin, which has been shown to display antimicrobial properties. Adding 2-3 cloves of garlic to food can boost your immune system. Garlic soup is also known to reduce the severity of the cold.
3) Holy basil:- Also known as Tulsi, Holy Basil is considered as a sacred plant in India. In old Ayurvedic texts, Tulsi because of its medicinal properties including antibacterial, analgesic, antiseptic, and adaptogenic – has been mentioned as the “elixir of life”. Tulsi is a staple ingredient of many Ayurvedic cough syrups. For instance, Pankajakasthuri’s cough syrup, a 100% Ayurvedic product, is packed with the benefits of natural ingredients such as Tulsi, black pepper, long pepper, and Adulsa. It helps you get relief from the symptoms of cough and cold. The product is 100% herbal and does not contain any added steroids, alcohol or sedatives.
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4) Ginger & Turmeric:- Fighting cough and cold is all down to the immune system. Using spices which have anti-inflammatory properties such as Ginger and Turmeric will support the body’s immune system
Ginger Cinnamon tea is one of the effective remedies for relieving the symptoms of cold. In a saucepan take ¼ cup ginger, 1 stick of cinnamon, and 1-2 cups of water. Simmer them for 15-20 minutes and then add honey. Strain the tea into mugs.
To get relief from cold and cough, take turmeric with milk as it helps Curcumin (the main ingredient of Turmeric and the reason behind Turmeric’s several medicinal properties) to absorb faster.
To prepare Turmeric milk, mix 1 tsp of turmeric, 1/2 cup of milk, 1/2 tsp of ginger powder, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon powder, and 1 pinch of ground black pepper. After mixing the ingredients in a saucepan, boil it. Lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain the Turmeric Milk and it’s ready to drink.
5) Food rich in Vitamin C:- Vitamin C supports the immune system and its deficiency increases the risk of infections. Getting adequate Vitamin C during an infection speeds the healing process and reduce the severity of the symptoms. The main sources of Vitamin C include fruits such as strawberries, lemons, pineapples, melons, papayas, and oranges; and vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, spinach, and cabbage.
All these natural remedies must be taken after obtaining advice from your natural health professional.